McFale Thinks Lin is a Selfish Player–McFale Really Doesn’t Get Lin

In the comments section of my post about the McFale/Lin Dynamics, I mentioned that I think McHale is actually irritated by Lin, because he thinks Lin is a young player who is more interested in padding his stats then helping the team win. I said this at the time with the caveat that I know it’s crazy that I would think this, but then this article in The Daily News came out after the Nets game and it confirms my suspicions about McHale. I made this comment before the article came out and I made this comment without any factual data. It was just from pure speculation and my usual “reading between the lines” and just my understanding of people. But in this article, McHale said it right out:

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The Houston coach calls his playmaker “a home run hitter,” and doesn’t mean that in a good way.

“Sometimes he’d rather have 29 points and nine turnovers and I tell him, ‘Jeremy, we’re trying to win,’ ” McHale said.


WOW! Pretty unbelievable. But I guess, not really, since I had suspected as much. Here’s an excerpt from my comments that I made from the McFale/Lin Dynamics post before this article came out:

“My thoughts on McHale’s attitudes towards Lin has evolved to the point now that I think Keven actually doesn’t like Lin very much. I speculate that it’s because McHale thinks Lin is more concerned with how Lin does than playing the right way. I know it’s crazy that McHale would think that, because Lin is like the biggest team player there is. But one of the reasons I think this is because whenever McHale talks about Delfino, he always feels the need to say that Delfino just plays the right way. He’s not concerned about his stats, etc. And he says that a lot of young players are still worried about their stats and such. And I think when McHale says this, it’s a little dig at Lin. I think the reason why McHale thinks Lin is more concerned with Lin’s performance than helping the team is that McHale is playing Lin in a way that doesn’t capitalize on Lin’s strengths and so whenever Lin plays the way Lin feels comfortable playing, McHale thinks Lin is purposefully ignoring McHale’s orders to pad Lin’s stats. Not sure if that makes any sense. As a result, McHale thinks Lin is overly concerned about matching his Linsanity performance and that irritates McHale about Lin. When, in reality, Lin is just playing the way Lin knows how to play. Of course, this is all pure speculation on my part.”


Just wanted to draw your attention to this, since many of you probably didn’t see the Comments I made.




22 thoughts on “McFale Thinks Lin is a Selfish Player–McFale Really Doesn’t Get Lin

  1. Mr. Philosopher, I think I read that Daily News article on the 23rd via a link on a JLin fan site after the Nets game. Then perhaps a day later, I read your comment. At that time I figured you must have read that article to help form your speculation. (I even thought you probably had checked out that fan site to approach the article.) But after I read this post and then checked the date of that article (23rd) and that of your comment (21st), it is true that you did make the comment earlier, which is quite amazing–and what a coincidence!

    Some fans wondered that quote from McHale might have been taken out of context. I hope it was because it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s just hard for me to believe that a coach would not like his players to score big to help the team win, not to mention that 29 points, which happened to be the points Lin scored at the Nets game, is really no big deal when compared to Harden’s 46 points. When Lin got 38 points at the Spurs game, McHale mentioned Lin’s mistake instead of praising his outstanding performance. That I could understand because the team lost. But other than losing to the Spurs, so far, I think the Rockets has won every game in which Lin scored more than 20. Perhaps McHale wasn’t specifically referring to one game, and it was merely a figurative remark. Hopefully, some day, someone could confront McHale, asking him what he really meant by that quote, which suggests a total opposite to what we think JLin is–a great team player.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if the article was taken out of context, but even so, I know exactly what McHale means when he said it and I know where the misunderstanding is coming from. It’s like I said, McHale is having Lin play a new role in Houston. So every now and then, Lin reverts to how he played during Linsanity, because you can’t change the way you play overnight. McHale, instead of understanding this, mistakenly interprets it as Lin intentionally not listening to him and doing his own thing to try and pad Lin’s stats. This is what I’ve suspected long before the article and the article just confirms it.

    McHale gets really irritated with Lin when Lin dribbles too much to try and make plays. He’d rather Lin give up the ball quickly. He doesn’t want anyone too dribble much. This is why McHale benched Lin in the game that I thought Lin had his best ball-handling game: the Denver game. When Lin handles the ball “too much”, trying to make plays, McHale thinks it’s Lin trying to pad his stats and trying to live up to Linsanity, when that’s just how Lin plays. I covered a lot of this in that post.

    • Mr. Philosopher, after a night’s sleep, I figure the focus of Mac’s quote is on the 9 turnovers, and that makes better sense. Nine was figurative, and he was simply making the point that even if you score high, having too many turnovers will likely cost the win. I don’t think he didn’t want Lin to score high because it should help the team win–as long as he doesn’t have too many turnovers and plays within the flow of the offense. As for whether he was against JLin playing his way, I’m not so sure because he should know that it would more likely help the team win. He did compliment on Delfino’s play, but we didn’t really see him criticize Lin’s style of play. So I’ll take a conservative stand here to say McHale just doesn’t like the turnovers.

      Dribbling too much means he’s keeping the ball too long and not making the decision quick enough, which goes against Mac’s “moving the ball” policy. Harden does that too, but JLin probably has a shorter leash. Well, it’s still weird to me to think that a coach would sub a player out simply because he thought the player was handling the ball too much or spending too much time making plays. I think it had more to do with McHale’s weird mechanic rotation with Lin. As we all see, it has become a fact/pattern that Mac just has to sub Lin out whenever Lin’s played for a few minutes, regardless how well he’s been plaing.(At one time, I thought he was resting him.) So I think perhaps the Denver game was no exception. Such rotation is what Lin fans hate about McHale, as it breaks Lin’s rhythm and leads to Lin not getting starters’ minutes.

  3. Hello Lin fans, just making conversation here….

    I missed the Wiz game and the Bucks game. So, our Philosopher’s prediction that it is “going to be tough on McHale, who has to now incorporate new pieces into his game plan and get new players up to speed” and that “in the short-term, the Rockets are back to having some growing pains, again”, has come to bear.

    I will not be able to watch the upcoming Magic game either. I am calling for a Rockets win, in spite of the fact that Lin will be playing with an ankle that is not 100% and that Harden has a bruised knee. This is a no-brainer since Orlando’s record is something like 16-42. No trap game, please!

    Linsanity 2.0 now involves D-Mo. Like Lin, D-Mo suddenly got the opportunity to play proved himself worthy. I hope D-Mo will continue to improve, play Linsane and shine. Basketball pundits all over the world seem to concur that the Rockets are the most fun and exciting team to watch. That’s Linsanity 2.0 for me!

    Have a great evening/morning wherever you are on the WEB!

    • MrPingPong, it’s good to here from you! I only saw a little of the Wizards game and did see the Bucks game, but it was a little too heartbreaking for me to write about it.

      It was really good to finally see D-Mo out there. He had an excellent starter debut, but he needs to learn to pace himself so he can play starter minutes. He has an elite ability to play with his back to the basket and has such precise footwork. He’s also tremendously fast and quick. Also showed an ability to pass the ball and handle the ball better than probably any 7-footer I’ve seen. I’m very high on D-Mo after seeing his debut. Hope he can keep up something close to his debut, while still pacing himself as a starter. I really think he can become the Star forward that we need. I know I’m alone in this, but I think Rockets should just let this team grow and have patience, rather than going out and getting a superstar, just because conventional wisdom says you need two superstars to win a title. I think a couple of the guys we currently have can grow into a star. And I think a team with one superstar and a few stars is good enough to win a title. What’s important is the chemistry. This team can get better if they just let them grow together and they can grow into a championship-type team. But I’m completely alone in this belief. I know Morey is going to get Dwightmare this summer. Hopefully, it’ll all work out.

      T-Rob, on the other hand, didn’t have such a good debut. In fact, I think the momentum left the Rockets in their brilliant start when the second unit came in. After that, they were a totally different team.

      I’m concerned about Harden’s knees. He looked like he could barely walk out there. I still don’t know what Anderson needs to do to prove to McHale that he can give Harden some rest. McHale also still relies too heavily on Delfino. Delfino should not have been on the floor when The Wizards was on the free throw line. That was a big mistake by McHale.

      The way D-Mo played tells me that McHale really needs to trust his young guys more. As I’ve been saying from the very beginning of the season, Rockets actually have a good bench, McHale just needs to play the guys that deserve more time. Anderson is a guy that I think McHale is under-utilizing for unknown reasons. He’s played very well when he’s been on the floor.

      • Yes Philosopher, I am in the same opinion with you that team chemistry is key to a championship-type team. For some reason, Morey got impatient and broke up a team that was beginning to jell half way through the season. It is now past the half way mark and I feel sorry for McHale to have to work with a bunch of new players again. But what was done cannot be undone. We just have to move forward from here.

        I like Anderson too. I have no idea what is happening to T-Jones. And the newly acquired players including T-Rob, I really have no idea how good they are and how they can quickly adjust to the new team and help out. It’s gonna be a rough ride for the rest of the season, I think.

        Let’s see what McHale has in store for this upcoming game.

      • You are not the only one, I think the Rockets should stick with their current players and let them grow together. I am very high on D-mo, I think he will be a future superstar. MrPingPong, I don’t think McHale have anything in store beside being a great player and his ego. McHale has no idea, he said it himself. He probably best for a big man trainer than a coach.

  4. You’re not alone in your beliefs, Mr. Philosopher. Honestly, I don’t like the trade much because they sent off three good shooters in 2Pat, TD, and Morris. I think if they were still on the team, they wouldn’t have lost the past two games. As I saw, the Rockets weren’t shooting well in the second half of those two games, e.g., the Bucks players easily sank 3-pointers, but the Rockets didn’t. I think at such time, especially in the 4th quarter or when the star players are cold, having more good shooters would definitely help.
    What I was very impressed with the Rockets in pre-games was that they were a young team with many good shooters (IMO, Jeremy isn’t though). And in the first half of the season, the scenes of Morris or 2Pat hitting the bucket after getting passes from Jeremy or TD making 3-pointers were quite familiar. Now all of them are gone, and I doubt if the Rockets is till as good a shooting team as it was. I think if the Rockets lose more games, Morey would be the one to blame. I don’t think the loss was so much due to the chemistry but more due to the lack of good shooters they used to have.

    • I think the trade was a trade that Morey couldn’t pass up and should make the team better in the future. He’s also positioning himself to bring in Howard this summer with the moves he made. It was a brilliant GM move. I think Rockets will be fine and should still make the playoffs. It’ll just take a little time to gel, but I think this new squad is an upgrade to the one before, because now D-Mo is getting the minutes that he deserves and T-Rob has a lot of upside. So we’re essentially getting two potential legitimate star Forwards after getting rid of two just okay Power Forwards. Yeah, the three-ball will suffer, because T-Rob can’t make threes. But I think overall, we’ll be a better team, because T-Rob and even D-Mo can help so much more on the rebounding and defense that was lacking under Morris and 2Pat.

      When Rockets had a 17-point lead and McHale replaced D-Mo with T-Rob, that’s when the Rockets looked completely lost. Good thing we have an easy schedule coming up. These are all games we should win. Lets see if Rockets can take care of business and put together a winning streak longer than 5. With the old squad, I would have been very confident that they would have won the Bucks game and on their way to an 8-game or so winning streak. We’ll see if this squad can win the games they should win.

    • I actually like the trade, not because of T-Rob or anyone from the the trade. I like it because McHale has no choice but to play the rookies especially D-mo. McHale known for not trusting any rookies but he forgot that himself is a rookie coach. If he has a chance to show his talent he should give others the same chance too.

      • Exactly, TigerLin. That’s why I said that the trade essentially gave us TWO potential star power forwards, meaning D-Mo and T-Rob, not just T-Rob. I think D-Mo. I know it’s way early to say, but I prefer D-Mo to T-Rob, because D-Mo has an elite offensive game. Will just have to see D-Mo in more games to see how he adapts to being a starter and learns to pace himself.

        Also, great point about McHale being a rookie himself (in coaching, that is). I’ve had that same exact thought. McHale has made lots of rookie coaching mistakes throughout the season, but he never owns up to them, so I’m not sure if he knows they’re mistakes, or he just doesn’t like admitting he’s wrong. I hope deep down, he knows he’s wrong so he can learn from them. It doesn’t really matter to me if he admits it in public or not. The biggest mistake he’s made is his over-reliance on Delfino–especially after Delfino’s elbow issues. I think having the small Delfino on the court cost us the Wizards and the Bucks game, because both were lost due to opponents getting key offensive rebounds down the stretch. Lets see if McHale realizes this and starts trusting D-Mo more and let D-Mo stay in the game down the stretch.Sure, he may still make some mistakes on rotations, but having the small Delfino on the floor is a huge defensive and rebounding liability, since Delfino’s shot is still very shaky.

        McHale also needs to rest Harden more and trust that Anderson has what it takes to spell Harden.

  5. Well I think there is a lot of pressure on Lin to up his stats since a lot of people use Lin’s stats against him to try and say he is below average. But a lot of what Lin does is not going to show up on the stat sheet since he is more of the team player type. Hes also not racking up highlight reel dunks weekly or making freakishly athletic plays, so many people use that against him. But if there is one thing Jeremy Lin is not it is selfish.

    • You’re absolutely right, Tony. I actually think Lin is a more polished player now than during Linsanity (his passes are crisper and his ball handling is much improved), but people miss this, because he’s not putting up the numbers, since he has to share the ball with essentially a better Jeremy Lin, who’s the number one option. Jeremy just sometimes falls back into playing the way he’s been playing forever and it’s a shame that McHale mistakes it for Lin being selfish. This is why I don’t think McHale really gets Lin or Lin’s game.

  6. What a childish and cynical interpretation in a childish groupie website. Catering to Lin’s teeny bopper fanatics for traffic I see?.

    • Dear “A real fan”. I look forward to hearing your perspective on this matter. I’ll give you two days to come up with some actual reasons for your positions, rather than just name-calling for the sake of name calling to make yourself feel bigger or more intelligent. You know, just calling someone names doesn’t automatically make you smarter or right or whatever. If it only were that easy.

      This is a place for “intelligent” discussions on Lin, as you can see under the Title of the blog I won’t have this blog break down into useless, mindless name-calling. There are plenty of places on the web for that. You can disagree with my point of view, but I always provide specific reasons for my perspective. So if you disagree, then you need to provide specific reasons for your perspective, otherwise, what’s the point of having a dialogue?

      I’m always happy to hear other perspectives, because I know I don’t have all the answers and no one can know what’s in McHale’s mind, so it’s all guesswork on our parts anyway. So no perspective is right or wrong, at the end of the day.

      I respect your right to disagree with my perspective, because my interpretation could turn out to be dead wrong, and I’m open to that. This is why I’m giving you two days to come up with specific well-reasoned and thought out retorts. If not, I will delete this comment, as it adds absolutely no value to the discussion in its current form. Thanks for visiting.

  7. I randomly found this page and read a little so I thought I might as well offer my thoughts.

    As an avid reader of news in general, there’s a huge dissonance in the market between professionally edited compositions and run-of-the-mill, put one out there saturators. For most people, seeing is believing. For these very same people, any news article that’s written must be true! The saddening part is this is the ‘vocal’ majority. I find it disrespectful of me to have to think of society as ‘ignorant’, but the very core of the general populace do choose to be ‘ignorant’ of their freewill. Anyone born and raised in NY knows that the only reputable news source is the NY Times. I take that back. Only the people that care bother to know. When I say this, I am not discrediting the Daily News, but merely stating just because it’s in a newspaper doesn’t make it necessarily true.

    Let’s be frank here. J. Lin has been the most interesting sports story in the past decade, period. His story transcends beyond the game of basketball, much like that of Yao, Dirk, or any international superstar that has played well above all expectations. He’s a Harvard graduate, a Christian, a Taiwanese-American, faced discrimination throughout his life, didn’t receive any athletic scholarships, etc etc.The list simply goes on.I haven’t even touched on basketball and already we see that J. Lin has such a polarizing story!

    There is no doubt in my mind that such a once in a life time story would go unnoticed by the media and not be trivialized. And it has. You see it on any God given day. There’s always simply another one of those polarizing articles on J. Lin that simply leaves the audience tasteless. For the educated, it sends a “who the **** wrote this piece of garbage” message, and for the vast majority, a flame war. As the Human Torch would say, flame(suit) on! Far and few in between are the articles worth a read and even those are simply outmatched by the mere monster mass that are poor articles high school dropouts could write. Again, I have nothing against The Daily News for the article they chose to put out, but as soon as I even saw an inclination to what it was suggesting, I cried foul and just ignored it. Hey, if I was The Daily News, I would have done the same thing. Not only did I get new viewership for our company, I banged in a quick buck in this already high pressured market. (In another light, take for example the small amount of articles the NY Times has written on J. Lin compared to other ‘reputable’ news sources)

    Do I believe that McHale might not favorite Lin? Sure, why not.

    We have to put things into perspective. The Rockets had a training camp, but it was virtually wasted with the impromptu trade right before the season began. A few hours before the seasonal trade deadline and again, a huge shakeup of the roster. Not only did the Rockets organization have to rearrange another training camp midway into the season because of that, they also have a coach who has never had much trust in rookies. In my eyes, the entire Rockets team is a bunch of rookies except for Delfino and the newly acquired Garcia, and I wouldn’t have qualms if McHale felt this way either (with the exception of Harden, who is already an indisputable All Star and maybe Chandler, the only Rockets player to still be with the Rockets since McHale’s induction). This is an unprecedented situation in the fact that we have a coach who doesn’t trust rookies, and an entire team that is a bunch of rookies! **** man, I don’t ever recall seeing a professional basketball team this young before. The funniest thing is simply on the account of age I could probably relate to almost every single Rockets player.

    I hate it so much whenever people discredit McHale and opt to choose so by calling him McFail. My God, he wasn’t even with the team for the beginning of the season due to his family issues (My condolences to his family). I hate it even more whenever i see a ‘Jeremy Lin’ fan, and not a ‘Houston Rockets fan’ or ‘Basketball fan’. There’s so much hate going around that I always try to put myself in J. Lin’s position and just think to myself ‘what would he say if he actually read all this BS?’ My goodness.

    I love watching Jeremy Lin play basketball. In fact, I love how he plays basketball even more so now then when he was with my New York Knicks. We never gave him a chance and I’m glad Houston, recognizing him for who he was, gave him that chance. To everyone else, we need to give the Houston Rockets Organization a chance and try to stop reading between the lines. Jeremy Lin has already moved beyond all the politics. Why can’t we?

    • Thanks for the very thorough input, Wong. I look forward to more of your comments, because I value people who think thoroughly about things. I feel I do the same. If you’ve been a reader of my blog from the beginning, i think you will see that. I can understand how you feel about this one particular post. I rarely call McHale “McFale”. I use it as sort of a technical term as a headline for situations and times when I feel the need to really criticize McHale.

      I’m not sure if I mentioned in this post, but I do think the quote was taken out of context. But I’m more of an intuitive person, so I tend to read between the lines a lot and I have a tendency to read people and feel I can see through a person. So my insights into McHale and what he thinks of Lin comes from reading between the lines, since no coach would ever go out and publicly deride one of his players. It’s very rare for that to happen. So even taking into consideration that this quote was taken out of context, I think it did expose McHale’s true feelings towards Lin and it confirmed my suspicions even before this quote came out. So, I do understand that The Daily News is tabloid and don’t take their articles at face value. I’m someone who doesn’t take anything at face value and I’m also a highly informed individual. If you want, you can check out some of my other blogs that I’ve linked to in this blog.

      Thanks, again, for your thorough reply. I really appreciate someone who would put in the effort to write a very long and thorough comment and hope you comment again!

      • Thanks, Wong, for sharing your thoughts. It appears you are a loyal Knicks fan. I came back to watch the NBA because of Lin and ended up rooting for the Knicks of all teams! 🙂 I must say the Knicks fans at Posting and Toasting are quite knowledgeable and cool.

  8. First of all,nice work on youtube,really explain alot about why mcfale so constantly benched lin!i just finish watching a ugly lose to phoenix sun a few minutes ago,not really a big surprise,,i think it is a predictable consequence when mcfale force JLin to be a so-called traditional point-guard by waiting in the corner for 3-points my personal opinion, lin should take most credit for this rocket team of being playoff contender team .james harden is quite a scoring machine and potentially MVP candidate,but with only harden on the floor,this rockets team is no better than the old magic with tracy mcgrady,or celts with paul pierce before the arriving of kevin garrnet,,,,but only lin has the very rare ability to bring out the best of his teammates,that is quite a unique abitlity in today’s nba,,,,saddly ,stubborn as mcfale is blind to lin’s precious ability,just so painful to watch a potentially good team being sabotaged by its own coach!!

    • Thanks, wz-zw! I missed the Phoenix game. That’s terrible that they lost. Yeah, I think a lot of people miss how disorganized the Rockets look when Lin isn’t the floor general. Lin’s contributions to the Rockets do get overlooked. He’s a stabilizing force.

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